Making Stars Shine Bright

Ten Ton Hammer Interviews
Brett Close, president and CEO of 38 Studios

Questions by Cody
“Micajah” Bye

In terms of sheer star power, few MMOG development teams rival
the studio that Curt Schilling has created. Originally named Green
Monster Games, 38 Studios has collected an amazing assortment of talent
– both on the creative side and the technical side of the
spectrum. Sporting names like R.A. (Bob) Salvatore, Todd McFarlane,
Mary Kirchoff, Scott Cuthbertson, and Chaz Sutherland, 38 Studios is
generating abnormally large amounts of hype for a company that has yet
to reveal the name of their upcoming original IP. Everyone’s
waiting for the announcement of the premise of the game, and when that
happens the world will want to know the details behind the story.

One of the more recent stars to fall into the 38 Studio
bullpen is Brett Close, the designated president and CEO of 38 Studios.
Previously holding positions at Midway Austin, EA-LA (formerly
Dreamworks Interactive), and VR1, Brett is known for
“consistently delivering highly successful products by
building exceptionally effective teams and organizations across a
variety of industries, including: Video games and entertainment
products, scientific/business software, and pharmaceutical/bio-tech

To learn more about this 38 Studios newcomer, Cody
“Micajah” Bye asked him a variety of questions
about his past experience with Midway and VR1, and his future goals
with his new development team.

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alt="Brett Close" title="Brett Close" name="photo_j"
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Brett Close, President and CEO of 38 Studios

Ten Ton Hammer:
To start, how’d you get involved with guys like Curt
Schilling,  R.A. Salvatore, and Todd McFarland? Although the
official announcement depicting your hiring wasn’t released
until March, were you actually a part of the team earlier than that?

style="font-weight: bold;">Brett: Curt was the
nexus for hooking us up. He contacted each of us, vibed about ideas,
and then brought us all together. We had a big breakfast in Phoenix,
toured Todd’s studio, and talked about how incredibly
powerful (and fun) this could be. These guys are a very energetic and
intriguing group of hyper-achievers, and they‘re a blast to
hang out with. I’m constantly blown away by the creative

style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">As for me . . . apparently
Curt heard about me through some industry connections and picked up the
phone. That was mid last year. Initially I was just involved on a
friendly basis.  Then some months later I committed to making
a permanent move and leading the studio. So even though I’ve
only been in-house for a few months, I was indirectly involved for some

Ten Ton Hammer:
Did you just receive a phone call one day asking you to join their
studio, or did you have a more hands-on role in the growth of the
company  into what it has become?  

style="font-weight: bold;">Brett: Curt was
already pretty hooked up with the developer community through some of
his previous experience in video games. He heard about me through
mutual friends in the industry. He just picked up the phone and called

style="color: rgb(0, 0, 153);">Honestly, I wasn’t
in the mindset of finding a new gig. In fact, I was very happy where I
was at the Midway-Austin studio, but this kind of opportunity
doesn’t pop up every day. So I wasn’t quite ready
to leave there, and Curt and I were talking pretty frequently about
philosophies of game development, the state of the industry, and how
things should work operationally.  I would say that I had
indirect influence even before I came on permanently.  At this
point, as president and CEO, I have a very hands-on role with most
aspects of the company.

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016